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Whisky Words: Lyne Arm

Whisky Words: Lyne Arm

If you're a regular reader, you'll already know that in the intricate world of Scotch whisky production, every component plays a crucial role in shaping the final flavour. One element that literally does "shape" the final spirit, however, is the lyne arm.

Vic Cameron, one of our whisky lecturers says: “The lyne arm is part of the still - also called the lye pipe - and it's what connects the top of the still to the condenser unit. The slope of the lye pipe is really important with regards to reflux in the final spirit.”

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The lyne arm is a curved pipe that extends from the top of the pot still's neck. It's a fundamental part of the distillation apparatus, responsible for guiding the spirit vapour as it rises from the pot still and begins its journey towards becoming whisky. The angle and shape of the lyne arm can vary between distilleries, contributing to the distinct character of each whisky produced.

The significance of the lyne arm lies in its ability to influence the reflux within the still. Reflux refers to the process by which some of the vapour condenses back into liquid form and trickles back down into the pot still. This process purifies the spirit, concentrating desirable flavours and removing unwanted compounds.

The angle and shape of the lyne arm determine the amount of reflux that occurs, as explained in this blog post.

Furthermore, the lyne arm plays a role in controlling the level of copper contact during distillation. Copper is known for its ability to remove unwanted sulphur compounds, which can impart unpleasant aromas and flavours to the whisky. By adjusting the length and angle of the lyne arm, distillers can regulate how much contact the vapour has with the copper surfaces, ensuring a clean and refined spirit. Read more about copper contact during distillation in this blog post.


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